Traveling with an infant overseas

Iris and I would like to take the little one to Ireland in the fall. There are no direct flights from the DC area to Ireland, never could figure out why, so we will have to connect. So far the cheapest seems to be to fly to Boston first.

However, that means that most likely there are no bassinets that some carriers have for babies. That would mean either buying a seat for the baby, or holding her for six or more hours. If we did fly with a carrier that had a bassinet we would have to connect in London, which means going through customs first. It also means that the cost is a lot more.

What kind of things can we expect on a long journey with a baby? And which would you rather do, fly in the states and then change planes or fly a bit further and pay a bit more? The little one will be around seven months at the time we go, and she’s been on a plane to Florida before and didn’t have a problem.

I’d call the airline and ask them how people handle it. They’ve no doubt hosted thousands of little tykes on their transatlantic trips. They’ll tell you exactly what you’d need to do, buy, or rig to get the little one through it.

At 7 1/2 months, my kid was walking. He’d sit quietly for a while but then he’d get the Jimmy Legs and want to be all over the place. Try to book your flight during the little one’s normal sleeping hours.

I did Australia/Europe with a 7 month old. It was fine. We did at one stage think the Paris/Singapore leg was going to be without a bassinet, and that would have been difficult. The crew and other passengers were accommodating. Our daughter was fine - when awake she was interested in the passing parade and when she wanted to sleep she slept.

If there are two of you, holding her for six hours (and letting her play at your feet, go for carries up and down the aisle etc) would be OK. But make sure you get a bulkhead/ toilet/ galley row seat. The legroom may not work so well for you, but the lap area is less crowded and there are no passengers in front to worry about. High pitched sounds are highly directional.

I flew home with Jimmy at 6 months and again at 11 months. I held him both times. That’s six hours in the air. Fortunately, the airlines saw that I was travelling with a lap child, and were gracious enough to seat us in our own row as the flights were not booked solid on each leg of the trip.

Try a baby carrier, like a Baby Bjorn or sling. That way if you do have to have her on your laps the whole time, at least she’s just hanging out in the carrier rather than your arms.

Well I’ve just called the airlines and they say they do have a bassinet, though the website says nothing about it. I think that if she sleeps for at least a couple of hours, and since it’s an overnight flight, she should. I don’t think we mind holding the baby, but six hours is a long time not to sleep. We do have a couple of carriers so we’ll think about taking them as well. I do know the couple of times I’ve flown Aer Lingus they are usually full.

Ginger we’re going to be in the Baltimore area the 12th. I’m going to email you to see if you’re around.

I will be around. I get to meet the baaaaaaaby! Email me with details!